‘I was nobody’s competitor, I was competing with myself,’ says Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi

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Chef Harpal Singh Sokhi talks to Sangeeta Yadav about his Jhalak Dikhlaa Jaa journey and his plans to insert his dancing skills in his cookery show

  • How was your experience on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa?

This was one of the finest experiences that I have had so far. It was fun to learn new dance forms like Rock-n-Roll, Salsa and Cha-cha-cha. As a non-dancer, I was open to the idea of accepting and learning everything. I knew I would be there for a short time when I first entered the show. I was nobody’s competitor. I was competing with myself.

  • Did your choreographer Bhavna Purohit have a tough time training you?

I was fortunate to have her as my choreographer. She was very corporative and understanding. Initially, we worked a lot on my stamina and flexibility. She helped me to learn a lot of dance forms which I never thought that I could. I was surprised to see myself doing Popping which I thought it’s a youngster’s dance form.

  • Why did you say yes to this show?

When I first said yes to this show, my family was not sure if I could compete since there are so many young and professionally trained dancers. I took this reality show as a challenge. To begin with, there was a lot of excitement since I was learning new dance styles. Then I decided to put in more effort and it kind of showed while I performed on stage. I became famous on the show for my energy during my performances. But this really exhausted me and it started to tell on my performance which was very evident on the day I got eliminated. The judges also said that the energy was missing. As a non-dancer, there is too much of pressure when you are performing and learning new things. The fatigue started building up and I knew was time for me to go.

  • Your biggest challenge?

To dance with my turban! There were  many lifts that Bhavna would show and I couldn’t do it because I was wearing a turban. It was a little risky. I had to protect my turban which is my identity and at the same time, put my best foot forward. I wanted to show that wearing a turban is not a hindrance if you want to do something in life. Other big challenge was to learn new dance forms like Cha-cha-cha from the scratch and master it in four days.

  • Who do you think will go to top three?

All the remaining contestants are very good but Surveen Chawla, Salman Yusuf Khan and Shantanu Maheshwari have the ability to be in the top three.

  • Will you continue to dance?

Of course. Dancing has become a part of me now. I will insert some of it in my cookery shows as well. It will add some fun element.

(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/show-time/i-was-nobodys-competitor-i-was-competing-with-myself.html)

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